Tjipee Herunga wins in WalesBy: STAFF REPORTER
TJIPEE Herunga won the 400m at the Welsh Athletics International meeting in Cardiff on Wednesday.
Despite the cold, rainy and windy conditions the star from the Omaheke Region executed her race perfectly to win in 53,15.
Herunga ran a fast 200m to take the lead and kept her composure during the homestretch into a strong head wind to win.
In second place was Joyce Sakari from Kenya who clocked in at 53,71 with Sparkle Mcknight from Trinidad & Tobago running 53,74 to secure third place.
Herunga also wrote her name into the record books by setting a new stadium record as she improved the 53,95 set by Kelly Massy in 2009.
“This was my hardest race of the year. The conditions have really been challenging [and] my ears are still freezing but we had planned for this.
“When I came to the 150m the wind was so strong but luckily we have done mental preparation and I kept my form and said nobody will pass me no matter what,” Herunga said after the race.
“My first Olympics is just days away and like any sport person I have dreamed about representing my country at the Games I can’t wait it’s a dream come true.”
On Tuesday evening Hitjivirue Kaanjuka, Frank Puriza and Globine Mayova competed in the SpitzenLeichtathletik in Luzern, Switzerland.
With the Olympics just days away the meeting was used by many athletes to fine tune for London 2012, including Jamaican sprint world champions Yohan Blake and Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Globine Mayova held her own in the 200m B race as she ended third in 23,85. The race was won by Jamaica’s Celia Walters 23,56 with the seasoned Debbie Ferguson-Mckenzie (Bahamas) – a multiple Olympic and World Championships medal winner – in second with a time of 23,71. In the 100m Mayova ended eight in 11,89 with Tiffany Townsend (USA) winning in 11,23 and Melissa Breen (Australia) second in 11,27.
In the men’s 200m B race, Hitjiverue Kaanjuka ended fifth in 20,94 the race was won by Daniel Talbat (Great Britain) 20,52, with Paul Hession (Ireland) 20,54 in second place and in third was Ramona Mckenzie (Jamaica) 20,62.
Frank Puriza also finished fifth in the men’s 400m in 47,61. Jamaican athletes took the first four positions, with Allodin Fothergill winning in 46,23 in second was Edino Steele 46,35 and third Nicholas Maitland 47,00.
However the performance of the evening belonged to Blake, the current world champion and training partner of Usain Bolt, as he won the 100m in 9,85 – a new stadium record.
In the 200m A race for women, ChaRonda Williams (USA) won in 22.52 to beat current World and Olympic champion Campbell-Brown 22,70 into second place.